Not sure where to begin.
I am trying my best to understand why they soft disabled it but knowing Envato, I can’t understand why they would go about it this way. A bit harsh and a lack of professionalism to say the least. Please read on, I hope someone from senior can read it too and give their opinion. Maybe I am missing something?
So we sell and maintain a plugin, WordPress (WP) and WooCommerce (WC) dependant, jam packed with features which have been suggested by the wonderful Envato community. As you can imagine, the more complex the plugin, the more bugs come through. But we fix them, and as you know, to fix the bug you need to replicate it. Some bugs are replicated on our end or their end (providing they, the customers, give us permission and give us the details to do so), these bugs we fix.
But there are customers, who unfortunately abuse the power of ‘reviews’ and ‘comments’ and get very aggressive behind their keyboard and plead for help and a fix but when we get in touch to ask them if we can check the bug and fix it, they either do not reply OR refuse to give us access. Please tell me how else can we see the bug? If we cannot see it on our end, we have no idea on what the server environment is or access to the console or even the plugins they have, how can we know what the cause is? And what does not help is the multiple number of plugins out there that depend on WP and WC, so compatibility issues and plugin conflicts are likely to arise. Additionally, if we cannot fix it or we have no solution, we happily refund them - that’s business.
On Friday 4th August, this popular item, with a 4/5 rating and over 2700 sales got disabled and the reason given was this and only this:
Please fix the issues being reported in the comments.
There are a few problems with this response and the decision in general. Surely, someone who has this much power should take everyone into consideration, every stakeholder (both customer and author), every possible outcome and of course the consequences. The problems that need addressing, through training or whatever works are below:
- No prior notice was given, not even a 48 hour period or at least a week. Courtesy to give authors a heads up, don’t you think?
- No details were given on what issue requires fixing. I would imagine given that the item was disabled by a developer, they would have the ability to provide the details that were collected to make this decision?
- No investigation on whether these issues are valid - not saying customers are lying but it would be nice to have this decision made on a fair term. What’s to say we have not already fixed this? What’s to say these issues are caused by our plugin and not another plugin? There are a lot of poorly written scripts out there.
- Businesses that relied on the weekend sales had no platform to contact us and did not get access to an update which we were planning to push later that day. Did this decision maker think about the stakeholders here?
- Developers like myself lost out on potential sales. Is this Envato’s way of penalising developers?
- Reputation has been damaged - people are emailing through wondering whether we have closed shop and abandoned the plugin. Did Envato, or better the decision maker, think about the consequences of what people will think?
I’m not sure how everyone else started on CodeCanyon, but we started with one plugin and it grew into 11. Very satisfied for what Envato has done to creators like myself, but not so satisfied with how they are going about it. You can soft reject new items but to soft disable a popular item requires a different approach. Below are a few suggestions that I can think of from the top of my head:
- Envato could have contacted me and asked for a previous stable version where no issues existed?
- Envato could have investigated the issue and asked for more details on why such as issues are not fixed?
To conclude, I hope Envato do something about this and improve their approach to this.